Hi fellow ILC-ers,
My name is Adriana Ramirez and I am now attending UCLA for my third year. I graduated from Richmond High School in 2009 as Valedictorian and I am now double majoring is Psychology and Political Science.
One word that describes my life at UCLA: ACTIVE. Active educationally, active socially, actively growing!
The reasons why I love UCLA are that I am constantly learning new information, not just from my professors but different people I interact with on a daily basis.
UCLA is one of the most diverse UC's and even then I feel like UCLA's minorities are lacking on campus but you can always find a small niche to fit in. My first year at UCLA I struggled to find a place to fit in, I had a good GPA but I isolated myself socially from other people, my goal for my second year was to find people similar to me that would help me move forward and that is what I did. I found Hermanas Unidas as a great support system during this past school year. Finding a group like this is key to getting to know a campus and to feel more involved in a community. I highly highly highly emphasize how important and rewarding it is to get involved on campus. I will admit it is time consuming but it is rewarding because not only does it make you feel like you fit in on campus it also lets you network with others find out about hard professors, easy classes, jobs on campus, and on-campus resources.
I have three pieces of advice for when applying to college:
1. DO YOUR BEST in high school! getting good grades in high school, and being in AP classes gives you a bigger advantage over other students when applying to colleges, you get more colleges to choose from, thus working hard at the end pays off.
2. BE INVOLVED-well rounded. Be involved in something. Doesn't have to be anything serious, but be involved. Even if it is joining the art club or dancing, join something you enjoy doing because it shows that not only you are studious but you can also do other things, you have something else to contribute to the university other than grades.
3. READ. READ READ READ. I can tell you that in my first quarter of UCLA I read more than what I had ever read in my whole high school career (it may sound like an exaggeration but its true). READING is extremely important to keep up in your college courses.
When deciding on what college you want to attend do not be afraid by the price tag (unless you really can't afford it/ community college is NEVER bad, it's a good alternative for students who can't afford to spend so much money). DON'T be afraid of loans. DO NOT be afraid to go to a university where you don't know anyone, or that's far away from home. Reality is that you will get home sick, but experiencing college away from home really pushes you to learn to be independent. No one is there to baby you so you're in charge of yourself, your parents are not always going to be there so college is the perfect time to try to be a bit more independent.
Pieces of advice for when in college:
1. TIME MANAGEMENT!- manage your time efficiently. I have a job (15 hrs a week), three classes, tutoring, study hours, meetings, and social gatherings I attend on a weekly basis... and it's all done through good time management skills. The key to this is being organized and keeping track of what is the most important thing to accomplish for that day or week.
2. don't STRESS too much about your college GPA. Do your best in your classes, take advantage of resources like tutoring and study groups, do your readings and assignments, as well as attend lectures and you should be fine. College and high school are not the same, everyone needs time to adjust, for some college will be easy and for some it will be harder but like Mr. Ramsey says "once you graduate from college all your diploma is going to say is 'UCLA' it won't say your GPA, when you get a job, no one asks you what your GPA was" and this is true!!!
3. Have FUN. College is not all seriousness 24/7, it is also the period where you can have fun, but all at its moderation. Manage your time wisely and have fun, de-stress. Explore your college town, go out for dinner or movies, do something you enjoy so that you don't accumulate stress.
I know that all my explanations are very general, but these are some general "advices" that I had to learn on my own in the past two school years.
GOOD LUCK with all your future endeavors.
P.S. If you want to know more specifics about UCLA you can contact me.
BRUIN: Adriana Ramirez